Melania Trump defends work on White House tennis court amid coronavirus fears

Melania Trump responded after her tweet about building a tennis court at the White House amid the coronavirus outbreak and in the wake of deadly Tennessee tornadoes received backlash online.

The first lady encouraged others to do some good in their local communities after being criticized for posting photos of herself on March 5 in a construction hard hat during the building of a tennis pavilion at the White House.

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"I encourage everyone who chooses to be negative & question my work at the @WhiteHouse to take time and contribute something good & productive in their own communities. #BeBest" she tweeted Saturday.

It marked a rare response by Trump to criticism after she wrote earlier that she was "excited to share the progress" of the tennis pavilion at the White House.

Actress Mia Farrow was among those who responded: "29 people were killed by a tornado in Tennessee, the world is shuddering as a pandemic expands and what is a tennis pavilion?"

"UNREAL! The White House did a quicker job building Melania's 'tennis pavilion' than getting tests out for the #coronavirus! #BeBest" another person wrote.

"In case you didn't notice, The world is in the midst of Coronavirus Pandemic,'' another person wrote, adding that the tweet "seems a little out of touch."

Trump used the hashtag #BeBest in reference to her campaign against online bullying, which has also drawn criticism as her husband, President Donald Trump, frequently mocks others on Twitter.

She said in 2018 that she can be considered "the most bullied person in the world" before adding, "one of them."

The White House broke ground on the tennis pavilion in October and has said that private donations and no public funds will be used for the project.

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